Centre for Himalayan Studies
UPR 299
Members of the research unit

Lecturer at Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales

Département Asie du Sud-Est, Haute Asie, Pacifique
Place du Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny
75016 Paris

E-mail: remi.bordes@inalco.fr


As an anthropologist, Rémi Bordes is particularly interested in how the study of oral literature is able to shed an original light on social relationships and subjective lives in indo-nepalese societies. His doctoral disertation about dotyali oral repertoires («  Héros, bouffons et affligés. Anthropologie d'une poésie orale himalayenne- Doti, extrême Ouest du Népal ») ("Heroes, jesters and affliction. Anthropology of an himalayan oral poetry (Far Western Nepal") . analyses the social imagination conveyed by the oral poetry of lower caste bards ( Bharat epics). After a stylistic study of this semi-improvised genre, a thematic analysis of the narratives' contents (glorifying, somewhat astray from religious concerns, the behaviour of ambiguous heroes) shows how the bards shape a boisterous and sarcastic worldview. The introduction of a second repertoire, that of lyrical alternate songs ( Deuda ), contributes to illustrate the cathartic function of this popular oral poetry. The thesis ends with a comparative reflexion on the concept of catharsis .

Remi Bordes is currently teaching nepali language at the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (INALCO) in Paris. Beside, he is conducing a comparative research in medical anthropology, dealing with the functions of speech in traditional and modern medicines.


Key words: oral poetry, epics, alternate songs, indo-nepalese, anthropology, imagination, poetics, aesthetics

Fieldwork: Western Nepal, Doti

Main publications:

2004  De la ‘confiance-aveugle’. Interactions de la biomédecine et de la société locale au Népal rural- l’exemple de la formation des intermédiaires in Pordié, Laurent (dir.) : Panser le monde, penser les médecines. Essais sur les traditions médicales. Paris, Karthala, coll. Soins d’ici, soins d’ailleurs

2002  Recension de Ramirez, Philippe : De la disparition des chefs. Une anthropologie politique népalaise. (2000., CNRS editions) in Archives de Sciences sociales des religions, no.121

Complete list of publications